Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1231, (29 January - 4 February 2015)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1231, (29 January - 4 February 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Opening mental boxes

Feel stuck in bad experiences and have no idea how to move forward? There are solutions, says Ghada Abdel-Kader

Al-Ahram Weekly

“All the time there are questions going through our heads. We are all searching for answers, but we never notice that we have them within ourselves,” says life-coach Lubna Al-Sharif.

“All we need to do is to find our inner wealth and know how to use the tools we have. Knock on the door! Look within yourself! You will find the solutions are not so far away.”

Al-Sharif runs a workshop called Bedaytak Gowak (You have it Within You). It is designed to help people regain self-acceptance, re-connection and balance within their bodies. It helps people to reconnect things, make changes in their lives and renew their vision.

She started the workshops eight months ago, after her own experiences of awareness and healing. Today, the workshop is the first of its kind in Egypt and combines neuro-semantic coaching with meditation, energy and healing. The workshop is full of practical exercises and uses group coaching.

Before starting the workshops, Al-Sharif, who has a degree in English literature, worked as an interpreter and translator. Since she was only a child, her passion has been reading books, among them books on self-help and life skills. One day, working in a translation booth, she was hit by a falling piece of ceiling. She suffered a herniated disc and was forced to stay at home as part of her recovery.

“It was as if someone had tried to force me to take a break. At that time, I was travelling too much. I had signed contracts and had certain commitments. I had a lot of work to do, and in order to do it I just took painkillers and continued my work,” she recalled.

“But after the accident the doctor advised me not to work or make physical effort, because every movement could make my condition worse.

Cartilage damage is difficult to heal, and in my case it took a long time.

“After the injury, I was in a state of denial. My circle was small, and I had few friends. I keep asking myself, do I have solution for this? I had this question going on within myself all the time. I found the pain was helped if I took a lot of painkillers, but I still felt it.

“Then I remembered the words of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib, who said, ‘Your sickness is from you, but you do not perceive it. And your remedy is within you, but you do not sense it. You presume you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire universe. Therefore, you have no need to look beyond yourself. What you seek is within you, if only reflect.’

“It was as if God had answered my prayers,” Al-Sharif said. “I began to walk again. I started to overcome my fears.”

Al-Sharif started to take courses with bio-energy coaches Mohamed Eissa and Mohamed Tarek. She has now been studying and taking courses in neuro-semantics and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), modes of therapy, for more than two years.

“These helped me to reconnect things and ideas I had been reading about for more than ten years. They changed me from reading about theory to doing practical things. They gave me the tools to do so,” said Al-Sharif.

“You start to overcome the old way of thinking, opening the door to new opportunities, abundance and love. In the scarcity game I was previously involved with, you gave your power away to the belief that what you feared was real. Your fears trapped you in a ‘lake of lack’.

The new way of thinking helps you to see your problems for what they are and the ways towards solving them,” she said.

The first day of Al-Sharif’s workshop is about acceptance and re-connecting with resources within yourself. Gratitude can be the chemistry of bodily change, she says, helping you to feel more energetic, optimistic, alert and determined.

Al-Sharif said that participants take “snapshots” of themselves during the workshop. “In order to see things correctly, we stand in front of a mirror as if we were taking a picture and accept all the details we see, because if we didn’t accept them we couldn’t change them.

“We do exercises to break up our resistance, telling ourselves that our happiness doesn’t depend on anyone or anything,” she said, adding that the idea is to “disconnect from the outer world and listen to the inner world.”

The second day is about cleansing, or getting rid of negative emotions like anger, sadness, hatred, failure, fear and guilt. This is done through chakra awareness exercises. In Indian thinking, the body’s seven main chakras are located near the major nerve plexuses along the spine. Since they have a positive effect on the mind and body, for maximum health it is important to keep these chakras open and in balance with each other.

Energy that enters the body through the chakras is directed to where it is needed to promote healing. Breathing exercises and positive affirmation can help, since negative emotions are stored in the body in the form of blocked-up energy. Energy, too, has meridians in the body that can be either blocked or open, allowing a harmonious relationship between the emotions to be attained.

At the end of the second day, bio-energy life coach Mohamed Eissa gives a special session on tolerance and how to overcome negative feelings. Forgiveness, he explains, is a way towards tolerance of others and forgiveness of others and oneself. Such insights are taken forward on the third day of the workshop, when participants are helped to move forward with their lives based on such new perspectives.

The idea is to plan for targets in the short time of three to six weeks. “I arrange regular group meetings every two weeks. It is important that participants keep moving on and maintaining this new perspective because negative feelings can attack you so easily,” Al-Sharif says.

Salwa, Al-Sharif’s sister, is attending the workshops for the first time. “I found them very interesting,” she said. “I used to work for Vodafone, but recently I had a career shift and am now working in the Sandouk Al-Donia Gallery. The workshop helps me to shake the dust off and re-arrange things in my mind.

“My hobby since I was a child has been drawing, and I used to dream of drawing stories for children. But I didn’t study fine arts at university. With what the workshops have taught me I now have the courage to return to studying and take up painting classes.”

Actor Ahmed Shaker, also a participant, said, “I always like to learn and try new things. This workshop is about a new science. It proves that humanity has a huge potential that is still undiscovered. It explains how to discover new abilities, encourage creativity and sometimes face frustrations and negative feelings.

“At the same time, it gives aspirations and hope for what you are doing in your life. I am an actor but am thinking of trying story writing. I need to unleash my creativity and renew myself.”

Engineer Bilal Bazz explained his experiences of the workshops. “You need to understand yourself, but I have some confusion about my aims in life. I have learnt how to deal with faults in my character and my way of thinking.

“I used to wonder whether I was capable of doing my job in the way I wanted. What the workshops taught me was that inside everyone has a box. You need to find the key to open that box and how to use the tools you have to increase your self-confidence.”

Going positive

Life-coach Lubna Al-Sharif gives tips on how to get rid of negative feelings:

• Focus on positive emotions. Feel thankful for the potential and gifts you have. Feel gratitude for the situations and people you come into contact with. When you think of positive things, energy always increases.

• Get some exercise: People who take part in sports or physical exercise tend to be happier than others. When the body is in motion, the meridians of energy open, releasing negative emotions.

• Be positive: you are a reflection of the universe. Start doing positive things. Take the initiative to change your life. Improve your skills and raise awareness by connecting with your potential.

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